The conference Responsibility for corruption crimes. Preventive measures, problems of legal regulation and possible solutions organized by the Russia’s Investigative Committee and All-Russian University of Justice (Russian Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice) has been held today in Moscow. Alexander Bastrykin, the Chairman of the Russia’s Investigative Committee was among the speakers.
In his report Mr. Bastrykin reminded about obvious global threat of corruption to the national security of Russia: “It [corruption] slows down massive economic and social transformations, makes the sector of shadow economy bigger and reduces tax inflow into the budget, so it is no coincidence that countering corruption is a priority of the Investigative Committee.”
Speaking about anticorruption legal regulation, the Chairman pointed out active participation of the Investigative Committee in devising national anticorruption plans and in proposals on improved anticorruption laws. He drew attention to the fact that proposals made by the Investigative Committee regarding prevention of hostile takeovers of enterprises were realized while executing the first National Anticorruption Plan, helping to criminalize so-called grew takeover schemes.
The Chairman also said about new norms (Articles 170.1, 185.5, Part of Article 185.2 and Article 285.3) added to the RF Penal Code by the Federal Law of 1 July 2010 No 147-FZ, pointing out that those norms “allow prosecuting perpetrators of illegal takeovers on initial stages of a takeover preventing consequences under which requesting property back is limited by the defense of bona fide purchaser. The analysis of those norms being applied has shown their unquestionable use – more than 250 illegal takeover cases have been referred to courts since 2011.”
Mr. Bastryking provided some statistical data for the past year: “In 2016, Committee’s investigators checked 35,000 reports on corruption crimes and opened 23,000 investigations in them. More than 12.5 thousand corruption investigations were finished, including 57 opened against organized groups and 6 against criminal communities (organizations). Most of the cases referred to courts have to do with bribery (almost 6,000).” He added that 2.7 billion rubles was compensated to the state after those crimes were solved by the Investigative Committee. Property of the accused worth almost 18 billion rubles was arrested which is 80% of the damage done.
Mr. Bastrykin continued his report by speaking about the necessity of changes into legislation: “The Investigative Committee has once again proposed to go back to discussing introduction of confiscation as a penal sanction. I believe that this will ensure inevitability of property accountability of corrupt officials… it is necessary to provide for the compensation in cases when it has been revealed that the property has been given without compensation independent of whether the person was aware of its origins.”
Moving on to investigation of tax crimes, Mr. Bastrykin said that “changing the protocol of launching an investigation in tax crimes has given an obvious positive result. This is why we are offering to change the current order of opening investigations into putting incomplete or false data in documents or accounting books or books of financial organizations punishable by Article 172 (comment 1) of the Penal Code.” He also reminded that the Investigative Committee initiated that a law introducing criminal liability for creating and managing financial pyramids was passed and that the RF Penal Code added Article 172.2 (organization of activities aimed at attracting funds and (or) other assets). “I believe that this norm provides reliable protection of citizens against dubious financial institutions and stimulates them to invest in real financial instruments secured by laws,” the Chairman stressed.
He named some other initiatives and proposals regarding upgrading tax laws.
In conclusion, Mr. Bastrykin underscored that “our aim is joint efforts with state inspectorates and prevent all possible acts of corruption connected with misappropriation and embezzlement of budget funds allocated by the state to defend the country, implement health, education, housing and other social programs having to do with vital interests of the population. This is the approach that will achieve the positive results expected by the society.”